SINGAPORE: A Malaysian man whose work permit was cancelled in January overstayed in Singapore hoping to find a job, but turned to crime to supply his daily needs after depleting his savings.
For eight charges including theft, dishonest misappropriation and cheating, 26-year-old Song Yin was sentenced on Wednesday (Sep 16) to two months and seven weeks' jail and three strokes of the cane.
Another nine similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that Song's work permit for an unidentified job was cancelled by his employer on Jan 14 this year.
He was not given a special pass and was not allowed to remain in Singapore, but decided to stay as he wanted to find a job.
He did not manage to find employment, instead depleting his savings sometime in June this year, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ang Siok Chen.
Song then turned to crime to feed himself. Most of the offences across all the charges he faced were for stealing bicycles. He sold at least three of them on Carousell for "fast cash", the court heard.
On Jul 12, Song came across a 66-year-old man who was sleeping at a bench at the void deck of a block in Bedok.
He reached into the man's unzipped bag and took valuables including his phone and 10 S$50 notes.
Song also used debit cards belonging to other people, claiming that he had found them. He used one of the cards to buy five drinks from a vending machine.
Several of the victims made police reports, and Song was arrested on Jul 22. Items recovered from him include the stolen phone and several bank cards.
He had overstayed in Singapore for 190 days and admitted to doing so illegally.
The prosecutor asked for 15 to 18 weeks' jail and three strokes of the cane. The offence of remaining illegally in Singapore without reasonable cause draws a mandatory minimum of three strokes of the cane.
The sentence reflects Song's conduct "of committing different types of offences while overstaying", she said.
For illegally overstaying in Singapore, Song could have been jailed for up to six months and given at least three strokes of the cane, or a fine of up to S$6,000 if he was not caned.
For each charge of theft, he could have been jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.
For dishonest misappropriation, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.